Sheba and Dedan and the traders of Tarshish with all its young warriors 1 will say to you, “Have you come to loot? Have you assembled your armies to plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to haul away a great amount of spoils?”’
(2:1) 1 Look! A herald is running 2 on the mountains! A messenger is proclaiming deliverance: 3 “Celebrate your sacred festivals, O Judah! Fulfill your sacred vows to praise God! 4 For never again 5 will the wicked 6 Assyrians 7 invade 8 you, they 9 have been completely destroyed.”
But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing back. 1 Then 2 your reward will be great, and you will be sons 3 of the Most High, 4 because he is kind to ungrateful and evil people. 5
For the law possesses a shadow of the good things to come but not the reality itself, and is therefore completely unable, by the same sacrifices offered continually, year after year, to perfect those who come to worship. 1
Anyone who survives in any of those places where he is a resident foreigner must be helped by his neighbors 1 with silver, gold, equipment, and animals, along with voluntary offerings for the temple of God which is in Jerusalem.’”
Mordecai the Jew was second only to King Ahasuerus. He was the highest-ranking 1 Jew, and he was admired by his numerous relatives. 2 He worked enthusiastically 3 for the good of his people and was an advocate for the welfare of 4 all his descendants. 5
The godly will possess the land and will dwell in it permanently.
For no one knows what is best for a person during his life 1 – during the few days of his fleeting life – for 2 they pass away 3 like a shadow. Nor can anyone tell him what the future will hold for him on earth. 4
The craftsman encourages the metalsmith, the one who wields the hammer encourages 1 the one who pounds on the anvil. He approves the quality of the welding, 2 and nails it down so it won’t fall over.”
The Lord said to his people: 1 “You are standing at the crossroads. So consider your path. 2 Ask where the old, reliable paths 3 are. Ask where the path is that leads to blessing 4 and follow it. If you do, you will find rest for your souls.” But they said, “We will not follow it!”
“Go 1 and tell Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian, ‘The Lord God of Israel who rules over all says, “I will carry out against this city what I promised. It will mean disaster and not good fortune for it. 2 When that disaster happens, you will be there to see it. 3
Notice therefore the kindness and harshness of God – harshness toward those who have fallen, but 1 God’s kindness toward you, provided you continue in his kindness; 2 otherwise you also will be cut off.
and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them, along with their households, and all Korah’s men, and all their goods.
Praised be your good judgment! May you yourself be rewarded 1 for having prevented me this day from shedding blood and taking matters into my own hands!